movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] [Facebook ‘fan/like’ link] [old JumpTheShark page from archive.org] Mostly watched in 720p HD — people had been recommending this show to us for many years. I’m glad we started late enough that the finale happened before we finished! We had no clue it was about to end. It took us about 2.5 months to watch all 100 episodes.

PLOT SUMMARY: Plastic surgeons and longtime friends deal with interesting professional ethical challenges.

For people who already watched the series, here’s the most concise season-by-season plot summary that still covers most of the main plot points. I simply took notes as I watched the season. Here it is: [highlight for spoilers] S1=Escobar the criminal 80’s-music-loving guy, horny-rich-old-bitch blackmail, Matt’s self-circumcision, S2=shrink gone?!?, carver, McNamara separation, Christian’s=Matt’s dad, Ava/Famke the transsexual, S3=McNamara divorce, spa, Sean works @ FBI, Rhona Mitra+Quentin=carver, S4=new management=blackmailed ex-escort/kidney thief/gold-digger, mutant baby=surgery+midget+McNamara re-breakup, Matt+Kimber=Scientology+pregnant, is Christian gay? No, Escobar killed, S5=shark jump?, Hollywood fever/stabby pretend agent/Sean=pretend cripple, Julia lezes w/Portia De Rossi+psycho daughter Eden that poisons+shoots her, Matt=Kimber+heroin+break up,burn victim,incest, Christian=cancer,marries/divorces Liz, Biker/”24 Mole” chick hired, S6=Matt’s a mime/robber/prisoner, daughter’s a hair-eatin’ emo, biker chick now=Rose McGowan,marries,tries to kill family,gets killed, S7=Christian’s a self-hating worthless asshole,marries Kimber,auto-erotic asphyxiation,Kimber suicides, Sean+Christian=couples therapy, Liz dates squirter, Matt leaves Ramona@altar for Ava, Christian breaks partnership, makes Sean go to Bucharest

LIMERICK REVIEW: There once were two plastic surgeons named Christian and Sean,
Their lives were exciting, and would not make you yawn.
Their jobs were morally complex,
And their social lives oversexed–
But finally they realized they needed a new dawn.

HAIKU REVIEW: Plastic surgery:
Way more morally complex
than people would think.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Plastic surgeons refuse to change for the better, lose the women they love, fail to stop a serial killer, fail to stop an organ thief ring, and altogether fail at personal growth.

QUIRKS: Gory plastic surgery set to music. Crazy professional ethical situations the likes of which you’d never imagine. Medical oddities, transsexuals, fetishists, swingers, lesbians, sex addicts, sex addiction, drug addiction, serial killers, organized crime, abusive police, gangsters, rich powerful people, Scientology, Hollywood.

This show is more intense and disturbing than many. And the characters are complex and nuanced…. That’s why it’s good!

VISUALS: A great show to watch in HD: Tons of close-up gruesome surgery scenes, tons of beautiful women, tons of intense situations.

PEOPLE: From the creator of Glee and Popular.

Starring Dylan Walsh as Sean McNamara (he’s in 24 movies and a couple TV shows I’ve never seen); and Julian McMahon as Dr. Christian Troy (Dr. Doom in The Fantastic Four movies, Charmed, Profiler). With Roma Maffia as Dr. Liz Cruz (Double Jeopardy, Boston Legal, Profiler); John Hensley as Matt McNamara (Teeth, Fifty Pills, Witchblade, CSI); Joely Richardson as Julia McNamara (The Patriot, Event Horizon).

Kelly Carlson (who was topless and side-body naked in Starship Troopers 2) plays Kimber. The hardly-present daughter Annie is played by Kelsey Batelaan. Crazy bitch Gina (“Hello, asshole”) is played by Jessalyn Gilsig (Hayden Pantierre’s biological mother Meredith Gordon on Heroes, Glee, Boston Public).

Nurse Linda is played by Linda Klein, who was also Nurse Linda in Grey’s Anatomy. She is a producer and/or medical consultant on a lot of the medical shows, like Doogie Howser, Chicago Hope, MDs, City Of Angels, and Heartbeat. In Nip/Tuck, Christian & Sean star in a TV show, and also advise it on medical issues. They were basically doing in the show what Linda Klein was doing in real life.

Other seasonal characters:
S1: Escobar is played by Robert LaSardo (a priest in General Hospital! hahahaha, Death Race 2008, Smitty from Waterworld, Short Circuit 2). Dr. Grace Santiago, the psychologist that disappeared from the series without explanation after S1, is played by Valerie Cruz (Sylvia Prado from Dexter, Isabel from True Blood).
S2: Ava [highlight for spoilers] (the transsexual) is played by the lovely Famke Janssen (Jean Grey/Phoenix from the X-Men movies, The Wackness, Made, The Faculty).
S3: Dr. Quentin Costa [highlight for spoilers] (the carver) is played by Bruno Campos (the neighbor Diego in Christina Applegate’s brief Jesse series). Rhona Mitra plays the detective looking for the carver, and her scenes are among the most erotic in the entire series.
S4: New owner Michelle Landau, aka hot black boss chick with cleavage, is played by Sanaa Lathan (Cleveland Brown’s 2nd wife Donna Tubbs, the mom from The Cleveland Show, Alexa from Alien Vs. Predator, Vanessa from Blade 1).
S5: Eden, [highlight for spoilers] the fucking bitch who never gets her comeuppance, is played by AnnaLynne McCord (Naomi from 90201, American Heiress, and a carjacker in The Transporter 2). Portia de Rossi plays Olivia (Lindsay from Arrested Development, Dead & Breakfast, Scream 2, Ally McBeal).
S6/S7: Dr. Teddy Rowe, crazy biker plastic surgeon, is played by Katee Sackhoff in S6 ([highlight for spoilers] mole Dana Walsh from 24’s 2010 season, Battlestar Galactica, and MTV’s pointless series Undressed), and Rose McGowan (Planet Terror, Jawbreaker, Scream, Nowhere, The Doom Generation) in S7. Changing actresses was the most tacky thing this show ever did, besides having Dr. Grace Santiago disappear with no explanation after season 1.

Julia’s mom is played by Vanessa Redgrave, who’s been in a load of movies, including Deep Impact. We also get Rosie O’Donnel, Mario Lopez, Bradley Cooper, Jacqueline Bisset, Peter Dinklage (Death At A Funeral), Brooke Shields, Paula Marshall, Melonie Diaz (Assassination Of A High School President, Be Kind Rewind), Anne Heche, Sophia Bush (Van Wilder 1, John Tucker Must Die)… Really, this was one of those series that everyone seemed to pop their head into for an episode or two!

And for the cartoon enthusiasts out there, if you remember the character Jenny Juggs… We didn’t realize it until she started crying and sobbing, but she is the crazy homeless cat Tabitha from the short-lived Slacker Cats cartoon! Carolyn totally recognized her crazy pleading! Kiersten Warren (Alex Tabor from Saved By The Bell:The College Years, Life Goes On, 13 Going On 30, Intolerable Cruelty, Bicentennial Man, Independence day) looks nothing like her voice!

SOUNDTRACK: The theme is kinda meh, though it grows on you after 100 repetitions. Like cancer. But we do get a new song every surgery! And Escobar just loves 80’s music! “Gary Numen – Cars” seems to be his theme.

MORALS: This series promotes a lot of open-mindedness by presenting the viewer with many unique moral situations that would not occur in a normal person’s lives. Forced to deal with issues such as transsexualism, body dysmorphia, and all other kinds of obscure medical and psychological disorders which can be fixed by so-called ‘elective’ plastic surgery. Most of the medical situations were based on true stories. This led a lot of credibility to the show–especially if you were already aware of the true stories they were talking about.

A lot of people are going to bitch about Christian’s seeming lack of morals, but Christian is almost always up front about it. As Sean P said, he makes no bones about who he is. “Every one of Christian’s asshole moments was enabled by others who wanted something from him. Which is a good reflection of life in general.”

POLITICS: This series helped convince me that a great deal of plastic surgery may not be medically necessary for terms of survival, but absolutely should be covered by insurance/disability/socialized medicine, simply because being a “freak” will cause you to be discriminated a lot more than being in a minority. Someone who is disturbing to look at is generally going to end up in a blue-collar profession, whether they want it or not.

Our country helps those who are truly helpless: For instance, the U.S. Postal Service makes all its office supplies internally, using mostly blind hires. [This also makes up for all the blind people that can’t drive a mail truck.] Many others end up on permanent disability. This is not evil socialism, but basic compassion. If someone gets injured such that they can’t fend for themselves, we don’t just leave them to rot in the street. Given that, we definitely should be paying to “fix” our “freaks” so that they can live a relatively normal life. The extreme situations featured in many episodes are great examples of people the government should help. A much better example than spending our money on huge wars, and huge corporate bailouts that cost more than all wars combined. How about helping the people that the government was created for? There are a lot of “freaks” that need “fixing”.

BAD STUFF:

1) Dropped plots. Situations that just never seemed to really resolve. In some cases, this was pure asshattery. In others, they were perhaps trying to make a point — that real life doesn’t always resolve. But still, some major lingering questions remain:

After S1, where’d [highlight for spoilers] the shrink go?
After S3, what happened with the [highlight for spoilers] facial cream made of sperm?
After S3, [highlight for spoilers] The Carver isn’t going to come back, and is just loose forever?! C’moooon!
After S5, [highlight for spoilers] Eden didn’t get her comeuppance for shooting Julia!? Are you serious?! Never has anyone deserved comeuppance so much!! The Carver should have fucking found her when the bitch went to Europe! I WANT TO SEE HER CARVED!
After S6, what happened with [highlight for spoilers] Liz’s squirting girlfriend? I understand that she “went back” to her husband, but I felt like the story was never really completed.

2) The opening credits sequence. This is a very minor nitpick, buuut:

The sequence shows a close-up of a human hand writing a dotted line on flesh — obviously prepping for plastic surgery. But the 3rd line doesn’t line up with the other two! Straight, straight … LEFT?!?! THIS REALLY BOTHERED ME! There’s 2 explanations: They did this on purpose to symbolize how even surgery is not an exact science, and how biological hacking doesn’t need to occur on the exact precise parameters that computer hacking does. You can “miss” a bit and still have your surgery be successful.

Either that, or such a glaring oversight that the person in charge of the opening theme sequence should be blackballed from the industry forever!

3) Matt. I mean, HE BECAME [highlight for spoilers] A FUCKING MIME ROBBER, for chrissakes. This is AFTER self-circumcision, fucking his dads’ (yes, dads’ not dad’s) shared ex-girlfriend, Scientology, and heroin addiction? Jesus Christ, now he’s A FUCKING MIME? THAT ROBS PEOPLE? A ROBBING MIME? IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING?!?!? Nevermind how much of a screw-up he is in every other season. That crap really took the cake. But really — did he ever make a sane decision the entire series? BARELY.

4) I can definitely understand why people said there was a lot of shark-jumping after the second season, though I disagree with that assessment. The real shark jump was Season 5, but even this didn’t really bother me.

5) THOUGHTS FROM CAROLYN: Season 1 really bugged me how they barely ever had Annie the daughter. They barely would even mention her except for tiny little snippets, to be like, “Yes, the daughter exists”. And then it became a joke with me. Then the “dream episode” really drew the point home that they were admitting their neglect of that character. The problem was almost solved when [highlight for spoilers] Julia moved away with the kids, so that was fine… Then they did the same thing with Wilbur in the later seasons… Oh, and don’t get me started on that time when [highlight for spoilers] Teddy was like, “Let’s have the kids stay with us for awhile.” “What time is Connor’s plane coming in?” Then, “Ahh, here’s Connor!” So, wait, that kid was flown across the country on a plane BY HIMSELF!?!? He definitely didn’t seem old enough to me to be on a plane alone. Oh, and speaking of Teddy, don’t forget the actress switcheroo. No more mole from 24.”

6) I think it was good they ended it when they did. They seemed to be running out of ideas near the end. They went out rather gracefully compared to some shows.

RANDOM: “Thin, villainous lips.” Haha!

Enjoy this MadTV spoof interview on the Nip/Tuck red carpet, S12E02:

CONCLUSION: A great series! For the most part, I stay away from present-day, real-world live-action drama. I prefer comedy, action, superheroes, and sci-fi. Any show about the “boring real world” has to be exceptional and intense to hold my attention. This show did not disappoint. Thanks for the recommendation, Christian & Shannon… Even if it took me 5 years to heed it.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.

The native public rating for this series is: IMDB: 8.5/10.

The native public rating for this series on Netflix:

S1: 4.1/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.7/5 stars).
S2: 4.2/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.9/5 stars).
S3: 4.2/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.8/5 stars).
S4: 4.1/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.7/5 stars).
5A: 3.9/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.7/5 stars). Unsurprising this was rated the lowest.
5B: 4.0/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.8/5 stars).
S6: 4.3/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.6/5 stars). Surprising this was rated the highest.

RECOMMENDATION: Even those who hate live-action shows should check this out. It’s NOT superficial, like one would think with a show dealing with plastic surgery. It’s actually quite deep. It reminds me of Six Feet Under:

SIMILAR SHOWS: I never thought about it while watching the series, but Six Feet Under is actually very similar. A one-hour, live-action, present-day, “realistic” drama — with comedic elements — interspersed with one-time guest characters that present complex, unique, and and thought-provoking ethical situations caused by the nature of their professional lives.

QUOTES:

Sean & Christian: Tell me what you don’t like about yourself.

The Carver: Beauty is a curse on the world. It keeps us from seeing who the real monsters are.

Christian Troy: I counted each contraction. Three times. Or were you doing your Kegel exercises?

Christian: The line that divides the porn industry and the plastic surgery is a thin one. We’re both selling fantasy, aren’t we?

Christian Troy: If you’ll excuse me I’m going upstairs to pay somebody to pretend they like me.

Christian Troy: None of us get out alive. Now you can huddle in a group and face it one day at a time, or you could be grateful that when your body rubs against someone else’s, it explodes with enough pleasure that you can forget, even for a minute, that you’re only a walking pile of ashes.

COINCIDENCES:

TRIPLE COINCIDENCE TYPE:
***(Nip/Tuck S5E11, Tim And Eric:Father & Son) 2 videos in a row with white dad, black son, as well as someone being caused to fall to their death, as well as having forced feeding.

DOUBLE COINCIDENCE TYPE:
**(Nip/Tuck #8, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest) 2 videos in 1 night that had similar scenes of 1-2 person(s) on a moped/skateboards (both odd) stealing/knocking a woman’s large purse/sack off her shoulder as she walks down a public road/sidewalk AND which had people recovering from surgeries.

REAL LIFE:
+(real life, Nip/Tuck #84) Sean’s bedroom clock was 11:26PM, and then we noticed ours was as well!
+(real life, Nip/Tuck #65) Just as Clint started to floss, the character Christian said “floss”, unexpectedly.

DOUBLE-LINKED SINGLE COINCIDENCE TYPE:
+(Nip/Tuck #62, real life) Right after talking about the hymen replacement skit from Mr. Show, Nip/Tuck was about hymen replacement.
+(Nip/Tuck #62,  Aqua Teen:Juggalos) Two shows in a row with diarrhea.

SINGLE COINCIDENCE TYPE:
(Nip/Tuck S3E08, The Life And Times Of Time S2E4) 2 shows in a row where people get the product of balls put on their face for cosmetic/care purposes, without realizing they are the products of balls. [Semen facial cream in Nip/Tuck, ‘Sweat’ perfume in TL&TOT that uses extract from deer’s balls.]
(Nip/Tuck S3E07[I think], Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! S5E3) 2 shows in 1 night with people sewing other people back together. Which of course also leads us to belting out “Sewn Back Together Wrong” by Dethklok from Metalocalypse.
(Nip/Tuck S5E08, Life And Times Of Tim S2E7) 2 shows in 1 night mentioning falafel.
(Nip/Tuck S6E04, Simpsons S21E19) 2 videos in a row with mimes.
(Nip/Tuck S6E08, Flapjack S2E13A) 2 videos in a row with characters unexpectedly being depicted as very fat–fatter than they usually are. (Kimber, Bubbie.)

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Hard to say now that Netflix has blocked friends’ ratings for accounts on hold. We are the only one of 450 friends to have fan’ed it on Facebook. I thought more people liked this?!

Mood: about to see Chemlab
Music: Sepultura – Roots Bloody Roots